I don't know what kind of ball mill you are using, but our Retsch ( or
Glen Creston, depends where you buz it :-) does not have any
seals. We use pure stainless steel conatiners or Zirconiumoxide.
So not much problem of contamination there.
If you have a problem with fibrous material you can "improvise" a
freeze mill : either only freeze your samples prior to milling in liquid
nitrogen for some seconds. Better is using Teflon containers ( you
can still use steel balls) and also freezing them down in liquid
nitrogen before milling. You just have to be fast after closing them
to but them into the mill .... ;-) I have been trying this on woody
samples and also on some b---y tough grasses and it works fine.
If you have any more questions email me
Unite Ecophysiologie Forestiere
INRA - Nancy
54280 Champenoux France
TEL 0033/383 39 40 41
FAX 0033/383 39 40 69